Discerning God in Seasons of Suffering

A Powerful Grace | Discerning God in Seasons of Suffering Episode 05

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Ted Wueste

“The ways of God are mysterious, but the person of God is reliable, trustworthy – even and especially in times of suffering.” – Ted Wueste 

It is certainly possible to discern God’s presence during seasons of suffering. Yes, even in our darkest days, the love of God is there to guide, sustain and encourage us. Ted Wueste shares the deeply profound invitation of God to walk into and embrace our times of suffering and receive the gifts God wants to offer. When we frame our lives in the context of our story, which is also God’s story, we can discern our with-God life as firmly rooted in the loving character of God. Themes of grace, hope, and presence are covered in this episode to encourage all of us.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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In His Grip | Discerning God in Seasons of Suffering Episode 04

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Ted Wueste

“The Lord prepares us for our times of suffering so we can walk with Him through our suffering. With God we can walk through anything.” – Ted Wueste 

God invites us to trust him in times of pain and suffering and he equips us to enter these deep places instead of being enmeshed in our own life circumstances. Our guest, Ted Wueste, knows this from first-hand experience. Diagnosed in September 2017 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, followed by multiple chemotherapy treatments, surgery to remove from his chest a mass the size of a baseball, two stem cell transplants, and acute myeloma leukemia, Ted speaks of God’s goodness and grace. His story is laced with many opportunities to notice the with-ness of God. 

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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Courage and Hope for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver| Discerning God in Seasons of Suffering Episode 03

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Cynthia Fantasia

When we choose to trust God, then we find him, and begin to see his fingerprints on everything.” – Cynthia Fantasia 

Today 6 million have Alzheimer’s disease, with 16.5 million unpaid caregivers coming alongside them, thrown into their role without any lead up or training. None of this has caught God by surprise, but for the care-giver every aspect of the experience is new. In this testing, God is building perseverance and our response may not be joyful, but it can be joy-filled. Today’s episode covers several reflections for coming alongside those who suffer: grieving differently; being kind; holy habits; short accounts; open-handedness; gratitude; presence; and love. 

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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In The Lingering Light | Discerning God in Seasons of Suffering Episode 02

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Cynthia Fantasia

Remember that the present loss doesn’t override the richness of the past. We had 45 years of amazing memories and 3 years of sickness and suffering.” – Cynthia Fantasia 

In the Lingering Light, written by our guest Cynthia Fantasia, provides courage and hope for the Alzheimer caregiver. After a delightful 45 years of marriage and family life, everything changed with Bob Fantasia’s Alzheimer’s. Were it not for a community of friends and family members coming alongside Cynthia, life would have been dark and foreboding. Ambiguous grief – the loss of someone who is still alive but in a different state of mind – can be debilitating. But, a strong faith, deeply forged in community, unleashes the sustaining presence and power of God.  

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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Suffering and Surviving | Discerning God in Seasons of Suffering Episode 01

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Cynthia Fantasia

“I determined to live on the other side of eternity as a caregiver for my beloved husband as he suffered through his terminal Alzheimer’s disease. My goal was to preserve his dignity and my sanity.” – Cynthia Fantasia 

Discerning God’s presence and power during times of suffering and heartache can be challenging.  It’s nearly impossible without having others in your community to help direct you back to the truths that you know, but have gotten muddled in the midst of the suffering. Our guest, Cynthia Fantasia, tells her story of coming alongside her beloved husband as he suffered for 34 months with Alzheimer’s disease.  For both of them, this was the fulfillment of their “for worse and in sickness” side of their wedding vows, persevered through raw, faithful love.  

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.